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Excellence in innovation management is more essential than ever. Increasingly sophisticated needs, the accelerating pace of global technology, rising complexity, shortening lifecycles, industry convergence – These are just a few forces shaping innovation. In a growing number of interactions and projects, we are facing those customers that are trying to make sure innovation becomes a topic for every employee, and not just as traditionally, the R&D Departments.

To master these forces, firms are increasingly implementing approaches to innovation. However, these are disciplines that are based on learning and experience – These are not textbook disciplines.

To that end we just ran the first event of a series which will offer to customers the possibility during a single day to accelerate innovation with their peers.


Can you imagine an SAP event for customers on the topic of innovation, where you don’t talk about “SAP’s new holy trinity of HANA, Cloud and Mobility” (genuine customer quote!)?  Where mavericks come on stage to proclaim irritating messages on their understanding of real creative thinking? Well, than you haven’t heard yet of the 1st SAP Innovation Day centered around Innovation Management.


/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/apphaus_426519.jpegEarly February over 30 participants from across Europe gathered in the SAP Apphaus in Heidelberg. (Learn more about SAP APPhaus here, it’s an amazing facility that really supports innovation.)

The Global Services Innovation Team and Business Transformation Services, wanted to offer a different kind of event on the topic of Innovation. In a manageable setup, managers from business and IT departments up to the C-level have had the opportunity to exchange on the motto of the event “How to Unleash the Innovative Energy within your Organization?” There was a colorful mix of speakers, most of them coming from our customers and academic institutions like IATCO and Firmenich, provided the intellectual input for really intriguing discussions.


InnolifterTeam-small.jpgOne of my favorite that day was a multi-hour design thinking session on various practical questions concerning the daily management of creativity, such as “How to foster a culture of Innovation within a company ?” topped off the event.


Participant feedback was collected in a final “I like – I wish” session, which demonstrated the great contentedness of the participants with this kind of the event. Some of the feedback included:

              • A Very interesting and inspiring format
              • The Exchange with other companies was very enriching
              • No Tech Talk
              • Unusual Environment


Wish you could have participated? Well it’s not too late. We have some more of those events planned around the globe.

Let’s brainstorm in the comments, what does your company or organizations do well to foster innovation? What could be done better?

Follow me on twitter @michel_serie

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3 Comments

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  1. Werner Wagner

    Real business innovation is a lot about “surprise and delight your customer”. The Innovation Day matched this criteria in examplary fashion. SAP and its customers need more of these kind of events.

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  2. Sylvia Santelli

    Imagine that, an SAP event where we don’t talk about SAP! I think the company is getting closer and closer to this ideal–to talk about problems and solutions, not about features and ourselves.

    I know you mentioned there are some upcoming events this year. I know of one that wasn’t mentioned. For anyone attending ASUG Pre-Conference 2014 in Orlando there will be a full day Design Thinking workshop. Another blog was written about it here: Theory vs Reality: SAP Design Thinking—Does it work? #ASUG2014

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